Home Trust Preferred Visa Review – No Foreign Transaction Fees!

Most credit cards in Canada charge a 2.5% fee for purchases in foreign currency. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but $1000 in spend internationally means $25 in fees. That’s close to a quarter of the annual fee of a premium credit card. There are a few options for cards without foreign transaction fees, but one card that is a no-brainer is the Home Trust Preferred Visa.

Home Trust Preferred Visa Review

Home Trust Preferred Visa Review

Home Trust Preferred Visa Review

Two major banks offer credit cards with no foreign transaction fee, both released this year. However, both cards have annual fees of over $100. The Home Trust Preferred Visa is the only credit card in Canada without foreign transaction fees AND annual fees. This card is worth keeping, especially if you find premium cards not worth it. Concurrently, I recommend using AMEX Global Transfer to pick up US credit cards, which often have better rewards.

Home Trust Visa Preferred - Disclosure

Home Trust Visa Preferred – Disclosure

Home Trust pulls your Equifax credit report. You can view this on Borrowell, the only service in Canada to offer a free Equifax credit score and report. Nowadays I don’t value hard inquiries as much, and it helps that your average account age should improve with this card open indefinitely. This product is unique because Home Trust isn’t a bank, but is one of the largest alternative mortgage lenders in Canada. Credit cards aren’t their primary line of business, which is why their product is not as refined as other competitors.

An application will take several weeks to process, you also aren’t currently able to change your PIN, and they only recently implemented paperless statements. Home Trust customer support is not as good, as say, American Express, but that is to be expected. Overall, these should be a minor inconvenience, and should improve as they continue to attract new cardholders. Oddly enough, Home Trust declined my application last year, even though I have excellent credit.

The primary cards in my wallet are the Cobalt Card, which earns 5x on dining and groceries, and the American Express Platinum Card, which earns 1.25x points on all other everyday spend. I have a variety of other cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred, to save on foreign transaction fees.

There are two other credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. The first is the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, which offers 2x points on groceries, dining, entertainment and transit. You also earn an additional 10,000 points after $40,000 spend in a year, so maximizing the bonus, you can earn up to 2.25 points on bonus categories. It is a decent choice if you don’t like keeping track of multiple cards. The HSBC World Elite MasterCard is the other option, earning 3x on travel purchases with transfers to airline partners.

Rewards on this card is straightforward. You earn 1% cashback on all purchases, with no cap. A free roadside assistance membership is also included, which is neat. Otherwise, there is no insurance coverage, which makes sense considering the no-frills nature of this product. There was an offer last year offering 2% cashback for the first six months, but that’s a minor difference in most scenarios.

Overall, the Home Trust Preferred Visa is a unique credit card no foreign transaction fees and no annual fees being it’s primary selling point. The card itself is a bit clunky, but is well worth it for travellers. I make many purchases outside Canada, so having a card with no foreign transactions fees is extremely important. The other free alternative is the Stack MasterCard – however, that’s a debit card and doesn’t earn rewards.

Application Link: Home Trust Preferred Visa

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  1. I have the home trust visa and even thow it took 4 months,yes 4 months and 1 hard and 3 soft credit checks on my Equifax account it’s worth it for us after you learn the PIN because of the no foreign transaction fee of at least 2.5% which is often more.

    PS… You forgot to mention that you get 1% cash back as a credit every year in January giving this card a full 3.5% when you add those to foreign transactions..and with 0$/year for the card,it’s clear from the first dollar.

    • I have this card (about 6 months) and haven’t used it yet on foreign transactions which is why I got this card to begin with, and considering there is no annual fee. However, just curious, do you still get 1% on foreign transactions as well or is that only on CAD currency transactions?

      Also, I think the roadside assistance is a great addition, but I imagine there are details that I am unaware of, such as, only good (free) for a small distance travelled and then there is a charge. What is that charge? Anyone used this feature yet?

      • No annual fee
        •1% CashBack with no limits to your total rewards
        •No restrictions on where you earn your rewards1
        •Roadside Assist membership at no extra charge
        •No foreign currency conversion surcharges2

        Also for the roadside assistance…the towing distance is 5 km which is low but you can use it 4 times/year for tire change,gas with 5l free,door unlocking,battery boost,winch/pull out and it’s included and you have a toll free #.All in all it’s pretty good for a free card.

        This info is all in the packets for the HOME TRUST PREFERRED VISA CREDIT CARD but not the debit card.

        • Just wanted to add as you asked specifically if it’s above the no foreign transaction fee for the 1% cashback….yes it is added so a total of 3.5%.

          The 1% is credited every December and posted each January of each year on your statement.

          PS…I don’t work for home trust or am affiliated,i’m just a savy shopper in Canada looking for the best deals out there.

          • Hi pauly222, thank you for your message.

            Sorry, not sure I understood correctly.

            I am aware there is no foreign transaction fees of a credit cards typical 2.5%, but with respect to the 1% cash back, does that 1% also apply to foreign purchases or only Canadian currency purchases?

            I do remember reading that the 1% cash back that is earned every December must reach $20 to be credited the following January and if it does not, the amount gets pushed forward to the next calendar year.

            As for the road side assistance; some of those I was aware of, but not the 4x/year so thank you or the free gas! 🙂

          • Yes, turns out that is correct, in a roundabout way. I just checked this with Rogers customer service. The way it works is that if you reverse a transaction, you lose the 3% cashback you had earned on your purchase (yes, it’s now 3%, not 4%) and then when it is reversed you are charged a 2.5 foreign transaction fee, so the total on the purchase and reversal/return would be 5%.

        • It’s not a net 1.5% because
          1-only good if you’re a Rogers customer for paying your bills and on the TSC.
          2-2.5% on the home trust preferred visa PLUS 1% cashback on all purchases….so it’s a net 0.5% and not 1.5% and only good to pay specific products or location….where the home trust at least credits you once a year and you can use it on anything where visa is used.

          • Yes true but the be aware that they only allow 10 transactions per day while travelling for the non-foreign fee charge. It’s in the small print.

  2. Be aware HT has a 10 transactions limit each day that we found out during a recent trip when we charged small purchases to the card. They can’t override it for you. I do like their fraud alerts emails where I can just click “yes” to say those are legitimate transactions without having to call in.

  3. Brim Financial also has a no FTF, no Annual Fee card with 1% cashback on all transactions (plus other perks like free Boingo WiFi). They’ve been slow to roll out their cards, but just got mine a couple of weeks ago. Good customer service up until now as far as I’m concerned.

    • You should definitely take a look online – the feedback about Brim in regards to ID verification, wait times, cuts to benefits, and professionalism is overall extremely negative. I would not recommend them until they’ve demonstrated that they are a trustworthy company and are consistently accepting and processing new applications.

      • I used Brim Financial for a month…. and so far there interface is one of the best ive seen. Their No Annual fee basic card is great with 1% cashback flat, they have Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and they are coming out with Google Pay soon. They have a lock feature on the website. I really love this card coz its got lots to offers; like free bongo wifi, 2 year extended warranty, $500 mobile insurance. Talking to customer service is pleasant, sure they can be abit cocky at times especially if u give them negative feedback, but i find that i really dont need to call them as much since everything works fine so far… Their app is a problem but its in beta testing.

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